Published Sep 20, 2013Back in 2006, Xiu Xiu covered Nina Simone's "He Needs Me" on the covers EP Tu Mi Piaci. Later this year, the Jamie Stewart-led project will be taking their love of the iconic jazz singer to the next level by releasing an entire album of covers. Nina will be out on December 2 through Graveface.
The record consists of 11 cover tunes. Stewart did the singing himself, with arrangements handled by previous collaborator Ches Smith. In a statement, Stewart explained that he came up with the idea for the album following a sub-par performance opening for Swans.
The idea came being back stage in Austin TX, opening for Swans and feeling like I did not play well. Michael Gira and I had the night before talked about our mutual love for Nina Simone and how her intensity and crazy political truthfulness always pushed us to try harder. After watching the Swans that night and knowing the difficult ups and downs of their history and now their epic and beautiful persistence, they made me want to try harder as well. Nina Simone's singing is way over my head and while I was back stage feeling like i blew it that night, hearing the swans be amazing and thinking of Nina made me want to not give up. The idea came from wanting to honour her, challenge myself to be better than I think I can be and to say thank you to music. Ches Smith is the only person i know who could understand this in his heart and also handle the technical side of fearlessly reorienting such wonderful music.
Scroll past the tracklist to stream the dramatic, horn-filled "Don't Smoke in Bed" below.
The album is available to pre-order here. For members of the Graveface Record Club, it will be pressed on what is described as "blood red inside clear (color in color) vinyl." Standard copies will be on baby-blue vinyl, with a limited mail order edition available on black 180-gram vinyl. All purchasers, including those who pick up the CD and cassette version, will get a poster.
Pre-orders are scheduled to arrive in November, ahead of the official release date. Peruse your options here.
Thanks to Pitchfork for the tip.
1. Don't Smoke in Bed
2. Don't Explain
3. Wild Is the Wind
4. Where Can I Go Without You
5. See Line Woman
6. Just Say I Love Him
7. Four Women
8. Pirate Jenny
9. You'd Be So Nice
10. The Other Woman
11. Flo Me La